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Have you wanted to build an iPhone app but didn’t know where to start? Me too! I’d like to build applications that allow me to control electronics on an XBee network remotely via a host computer, or hack an interface to the powermeter on my bicycle. So it was very exciting to be at this month’s Geek Dinner in Providence RI, which doubled as the launch party for Jonathan Stark’s new book, Building iPhone Apps with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, edited by O’Reilly Senior Editor and Providence Geeks co-founder Brian Jepson. Jonathan discussed the pros and cons of developing “native apps” versus “web apps” for the rapidly changing mobile phone platforms. He also discussed several nice open source tools for facilitating iPhone application development. This book is perhaps the most informative, accessible, and concise guide to iPhone coding I have come across. Very cool!!

One great benefit of Jonathan’s book is his extensive use of the open source application development framework PhoneGap. It gives many of the benefits of native iPhone applications yet provides the ease of developing a web application. This is a great tool for those who want to create iPhone applications, but don’t want to jump through the hurdles required to become a registered developer and wait for application approval. I am also rather impressed by the free HTML version available online.

Kipp Bradford

Kipp Bradford is a technology consultant and entrepreneur with a passion for making things. He is the Senior Design Engineer and Lecturer in Engineering at Brown University, where he teaches several engineering design and entrepreneurship courses. Kipp is also on the Technical Advisory Board for Make Magazine.


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Comments

  1. Brian Jepson says:

    Jonathan Stark was able to build this book… in a cave… with a box of scraps!

    Vid related: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtntTvuv8Aw

  2. Matthew Brown says:

    I have checked this out a little today and an totally stoked to get into it. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Jason says:

    “This is a great tool for those who want to create iPhone applications, but don’t want to jump through the hurdles required to become a registered developer and wait for application approval. ”

    So this is only useful if you want to jailbreak your iPhone? (Not saything anything’s wrong with that, just that I’m reluctant to put the time into an app “most” people won’t be able to run.

    1. Brian Jepson says:

      Jason, sorry about the confusion in the wording. This does not require jailbreaking. There are three types of apps you’ll learn how to make. Two of them don’t require the app store:

      1) Web apps (with client side SQL storage courtesy of HTML5) that look just like iPhone apps (courtesy of the open source jQtouch)

      2) Offline versions of those apps (pretty much #1 unchanged but with a few things you need to be aware of). These are the apps that can run offline after you hit + to add them to the Home screen.

      3) Full apps that do have to go through the App store (courtesy of the open source PhoneGap, which turns web apps into apps).

      - Brian

  4. Eduardo Rascón says:

    I’ve been looking for something like that! Thanks for the website, I’ll read the whole thing.

  5. www.iphone-everything.com says:

    I wish I’d had something like that when I took my prgramming class. my god did I hate it! I just wanted to code with ease already and not have to think and struggle so damn much! Its so frustraiting!

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